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Old 04-21-2004, 07:03 AM   #1
Yann Golanski
 
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Post Blind and doing Aikido.

I was wondering idly if there was a way to teach someone who is totally blind Aikido -- yes, I have been watching too many Zatoichi films.

What and how would you teach a blind person? Grabs seem the easiest way to teach... but what techniques would be easiest to learn?

Would the teaching methods apply to sighted people?

Do you have a blind aikidoka in your dojo? Anything you'd like to share?

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-21-2004, 07:29 AM   #2
batemanb
 
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Re: Blind and doing Aikido.

Hi Yann,

Before I went off to Japan, we had a blind chap training at our dojo, he was with us for a few years, l don't know if he is still with them, but I think he was 3rd kyu last I heard.

Training in grabs was basic for him, but we also trained in tsuki too, we would offer a vocal signal before throwing a punch. He got pretty good and was a good uke, quite happy with forward and backwards ukemi (the ground doesn't move).

Obviously, not being able to see, someone had to work with him to help him through the technique before he could practice.

Regards

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 04-21-2004, 08:19 AM   #3
happysod
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Re: Blind and doing Aikido.

Yann, saw Kenetska (sp?) teach a couple of blind people at a seminar in Leeds so perhaps someone in the BAF could help shed some light on this subject. As Bryan mentioned, dealing with strikes was tricky, but their competence with grab attacks was impressive.
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Old 04-21-2004, 08:42 AM   #4
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: Blind and doing Aikido.

Ian,

Thanks for that. I'll ask Ken or Karl when I see them next.

BTW, it's kanetsuka.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-21-2004, 08:52 AM   #5
philipsmith
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Re: Blind and doing Aikido.

Did a coaching assessment in Peterborough for Shin Gi Tai in November 2003.

One of the participants; Steve (sorry I can't remember his surname) attended with his guide dog and taught Jodan Tsuki Iriminage more than competently as well as taking ukeme when others were teaching.

A humbling experience for all of us
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Old 04-21-2004, 11:41 AM   #6
Janet Rosen
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Re: Blind and doing Aikido.

Yann, I have practiced with 2 folks who are blind. Interestingly, both ended up training in more aikijujitsu schools, and I suspect that the staying connected with pins made more sense than throwing partners into space. One thing I learned right away the first time was to stay physically connected, otherwise a hand was going to come searching for me and it might just find my nose! In terms of teaching, think a kinesthesi...(I'm losing the spelling) versus visual learner. Partners can whisper what is being demonstrated.

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-21-2004, 04:06 PM   #7
Atomicpenguin
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Re: Blind and doing Aikido.

I had a blind friend with whom I trained for quite a few years. In fact the two of us trained for shodan at the same time. For strikes, we simply made sure to do kiai's. Explaining a new idea usually required that you physically guide him through a motion and/or have him feel it with a free hand while you did it to him or someone else. As was said by others on this thread, I think the most important thing is to make sure you think kinesthetically rather than verbally when trying to transmit something new.
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Old 04-21-2004, 08:27 PM   #8
gasman
 
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Re: Blind and doing Aikido.

1000 thanks for bringing up the subject: I've trained with deaf people before. They seem to have a problem with balance, this might be related to the fact that the balance nerve is in the ear. I know if I was blinded I'd continue practicing Aikido for sure. Subanallah!
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Old 04-21-2004, 09:56 PM   #9
Ian Williams
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Re: Blind and doing Aikido.

There is an olympic level blind Judoka living in Adelaide, South Australia. He's been on TV quite a few times giving judo demonstrations. It's inspirational to see him in action.
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Old 04-24-2004, 04:13 AM   #10
David Edwards
 
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Re: Blind and doing Aikido.

Hmm... I've not practiced with any blind Aikidoka myself.. though, on the topic of unlikely martial artists / practitioners with various physical handicaps... We had a lady practice in our dojo for quite some time who was confined to a wheelchair. She'd sit at the side of the mat, and if we partnered with her, we'd just make a quick bow to the kamiza, and put on our zori and practice with her off the mat. Obviously there were some things she couldn't do, but other things she did very well, thanks to the fact the very strong posture she gained by putting simply the brakes on.

It's a kind of magic
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Old 04-24-2004, 09:20 PM   #11
robbsims
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Thumbs down Re: Blind and doing Aikido.

Mr. Golanski
I think that the advise given so far is pretty good. If I may add a few comments of my own.

One thing that I have found to work well with beginners is, as uke, I actually guide the movement rather than be moved. This way the student can get a feel for the movement involved in the technique. I think this method of teaching would help a blind person imprint muscle memory the quickest.

just a note: Kinesology is the study of movement. I think someone wanted to say a visual-learner vs a tactile-learner.

Thanks for listening to my rantings.
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Old 04-26-2004, 12:06 PM   #12
Ian Rogers
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Re: Blind and doing Aikido.

On a related topic - our sempai sometimes have us practice things - especially Kihon Dosa - with our eyes closed. You think you have a stable and centred posture? Try it with your eyes closed!

I wobble all over the place -- although I'm not sure if that is because having my eyes closed forces me to notice how wobbly I am in the first place or because I tense up and, for instance, don't commit to a good long low posture, and hence wobble.

Uke is usually allowed to keep his/her eyes open during these exercises!

Ian
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Old 04-27-2004, 02:47 AM   #13
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: Blind and doing Aikido.

Ian,

We do some of our basic practices with our eyes closed as well. Not all the time, just when sensei wants us to really pay attention to what we are doing. It makes the whole thing much more interesting.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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